My search for the perfect cheap earbuds goes onward with another review today.
I say exhaustive – but I should be more specific – we will only cover a specific set of characteristics:
- They must produce outstanding audio
- I will not be reviewing premium or well-known brands.
- All earbuds will cost under $50. Hopefully closer to $25
- All equipment must be "somewhat" durable (1-2 months of use, not 1-2 years).
- Works well with my smartphone (control music, volume)
We all know that big name brands (beats, Panasonic) have an extra cost added to the hardware. There is an enormous cost of marketing and this means you are paying for something that isn't producing audio. My thinking is that I should be able to find low-cost, no name earbuds that sound just like the top of the line brands.
Cheaper brands won't cost extra because of advertising, which means I am able to find earbuds that cost $25, but perform just like $250 earbuds.
There are a million reasons for getting a really good pair of cheap earbuds. I often forget to bring earbuds with me (I have an erratic schedule) and so I can stuff a pair of earbuds in my work bag, in my gym bag and around the house where I might need them. Also, if I break them or forget where I put them I haven't lost much!
This pair of earbuds for review today are a bluetooth set of wireless earbuds by AWEI. The A920BL are going to be rated on the same characteristics as the previous reviews to allow for fair and simple comparison between models. These will be Build Quality, Tangle Rating, Audio Quality and Overall Impression.
The best sets will also be for sale on our coldplaysucks.com store – but we will only stock earbuds if they achieve a high enough rating. These have to be earbuds that I would actually use every day. First, lets review the build quality.
The box for the A920BL's is really nice!
Some of the previous samples that I acquired had little-to-no packaging. These "plastic bag models" had terrible sound, and I've come to notice that the quality of the box is a great indicator of what's inside. It shows that the designers of this earbud cared about its delivery to you. Thats important for a personal product such as earbuds.
The package covers the electrical specs, however a giant barcode sticker is slapped over some of the important details.
The battery is rated for 6h of talk time or 4 hours of music. Music has a slightly lower time than talk since the quality is higher. The charging time is really fast, about an hour. I have been wearing these to work every day and I find if I charge them over lunch they last until they end of the day (but not the walk home, I need one more quick charge to get home).
They charge with a standard usb micro cable that is included with the package. This comes in handy when coworkers need that special size phone charger that nobody seems to have!
The impedance is rated at 16 Ω which is perfectly adequate, but also unimportant since its impossible to drive bluetooth earbuds (the amplifier is internal to the unit). Curious non-sequitur.
The frequency spectrum, or audio frequency impact these can deliver is 20-20000 Hz which is pretty standard.
The loudness is rated at 90 dB which is a bit lower than some other models, but very safe and loud. These are really comfortable for daily listening, and since they block out external noise they can work equally well loud or quiet. The bass is even and deep which is important for the type of electronic music I listen to.
I'm giving them a build quality of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Pretty great design. After daily use one model failed after about 8 weeks. The connection between the earbud started to be less and less reliable until it failed and became a mono earbud set. I'm disappointed though, I really put them through a tough Canadian winter and daily use at work.
I'm excited about getting several new pair so I can make the most of the battery charge and always have a pair handy. We're offering 30 percent off orders over $40 with the coupon code VB2XZTB0P8YG at checkout, perfect for getting a deal on a few sets!
These have short flat cabling and the earbuds magnetically attach to each other. This means they hardly ever can get tangled, even in my pockets. This is the first time I can give a perfect tangle rating, the A920BL gets a full 5 out of 5 stars.
Now on to the important stuff: the music.
I again have found a set of earbuds that I can use on a daily basis with this pair. The build is solid but the audio is really great too, which is a killer combination.
Earbuds in this price range can really suck sometimes. In my opinion earbuds that cannot produce great music are garbage but the musical detail is really faithful and true for a cheap pair of earbuds.
The bass is very even, not too loud. They can keep up with fast drum and bass percussion without sounding muddy or dull, which is a giveaway of cheap drivers. The A920BL has a really great amp / driver combination which means balanced, quality music output.
As someone who works in a music studio I have high standards for audio yet these are high enough quality for daily listening at work and at home. I give them a 4.5 out of 5 stars for audio quality.
These are a really fantastic bluetooth earbud, the magnetic attachment is a really nice feature! This set of earbuds is already for sale on our store, and I've even bought a few pair. Check them out below:
The overall rating for these is 14 out of 15 stars. I'm really proud to have found a high quality bluetooth earbud set that is so cheap I could consider them disposable. I'm stocking up on two sets (on top of the two I already have!)
As always you can stay tuned for more cheap earbud reviews in the coming months. We're constantly testing out new earbuds in an effort to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Check out our earbuds that don't suck!